Post # 1
So I’ve just started planning my wedding for (hopefully) October of 2018. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about weddings (the last person in my family to be married was my great grandmother back in Cuba); my Future Mother-In-Law told me 1 yr in advance was when I should start planning, but almost all of the venues I’m interested in are completely booked through 2018! I did find one place that is absolutely beautiful, basically everything I want, and has some October 2018 availability. The only issue with this venue is that it’s 2 hours and 15 minutes from where our families live. My fiancé is currently away at PA state police academy and we are from NJ, but will have to live in PA when he graduates in March, and the venue is in PA as well. How far is too far to ask guests to travel? We would obviously block off rooms at a nearby hotel for anyone who wants to stay, and we do have guests coming from all over so some people would be traveling regardless. Should we go with this venue and just operate on the assumption that if they really want to come they will find a way? Or should we postpone our wedding a year until 2019 and try to find something closer to our home town? Any and all advice is appreciated!!!
Post # 2
I’m asking our guests to travel 3.5 hour drive and 2 hour ferry away. I was concerned like you, then decided that we would pay for the people we required to be there (mom, sister, etc), everyone else will come if they want to. We will block out hotel rooms, etc. for them and help them make any arrangements. It’s not worth post poning your wedding for a 2 hour drive.
Post # 3
That’s really going to depend on your family and other VIP guests and how badly you want them there. Check with them and proceed from there.
Would making the drive and staying in a hotel be a financial hardship?
Are any of them ill or otherwise physically unable to handle the drive?
If you have a large number of people who must travel regardless (and are VIPs), is one location more convenient for those who must travel regardless (i.e. are there major international airports nearer to one of the locations, would they have to rent cars in addition to plane travel with one option over the other)?
Personally, for me, having my VIPs there is very important to me and would very much factor into my decision making. If the majority of both families/VIPs are in one location then I would feel badly about the extra expenses they would incur by selecting someplace requiring a hotel. Technically 2.25 hours might still be “day trip” territory (I have a fair amount of family who live that far away and I will go there and back home in one day), so I would probably only choose that option if I was having a late morning/early afternoon wedding such that my guests would have the option of making the trip in one day and save the hotel expense if they were so inclined. Otherwise, for an evening wedding, I would try to make it less than hour, ideally a half hour max travel time when the majority of family is centrally located. (My answer may be different depending on the proportion of in town vs. out of town guests.)
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Our guest list was scattered all across the country. There was no one location that would have been convenient for everyone, so we selected the location we liked and gave everyone plenty of notice to sort out travel. If they could make it, great, if not, we totally understood.
Post # 5
Half of our guests were about 2-3 hours from our venue. Most of them stayed the night in local hotels. The other half were scattered across the country (and two came from Europe).
You know your family and how well they travel, but from my experience, 2.5 hours doesn’t seem unreasonable, especially if you make it easy for them to get lodging. On average, I’d say I’ve traveled about two hours to each of the “local” weddings I’ve been to.
I say go with the venue you love in October ’18. Good luck, bee!
Post # 6
I don’t think 2.5 hours is too unreasonable to travel for such a big event. We have family all across Indiana and no matter where we had our wedding, some guests would be traveling at least two hours. We ended up deciding on our favorite venue and it will be one hour away for most and three hours away for the guests farthest away. The hotel block will be appreciated also.
Post # 7
Traveling should be fine. People have plenty of notice for travel plans. All but 5 people traveled 2.5+ plane rides for our wedding.
Plan the wedding you want to have, and be prepared for those who can’t afford it to not be there. Or, alternatively, to help them attend. We helped a few key people travel to our wedding.
Post # 8
Travel is tough. Honestly, for us, we have family and friends scattered ALL across the country and even into Canada. We decided we couldn’t cater to everyone and we really just need to be married where WE are, and who can and wants to come will come. People will make it work if they want to be there and have the means. I would plan without too much thought about how others have to travel – that may sound snide but in all honesty that’s just how it goes. You cannot please everyone. I’d look into setting up transportation for them and also affordable room blocks so they will not have to worry about getting to and from the venue.
It’s a tricky subject but you gotta just do you when it comes to location.
Post # 9
If you are hosting and the venue is near where you will be living, then it is not a destination wedding. There is really no inappropriate distance from an etiquette POV in that case. Logistically, you’ll likely lose some people who have to spend money to stay overnight. Depending on your most important family members and their circumstances, that may be something to seriously consider.
But when the location has no connection to the couple or the families, I think it’s inconsiderate to put venue ahead of the comfort and convenience of the people who most deserve to be there. To me, “local” would mean about an hour away or less, close enough to easily drive home.
By The Way was your great-grandmother in Cuba really the most recent person in your family to be married? Or did you mean to hold a wedding reception?
Post # 10
We asked guests to travel up to 2000 miles because we don’t live near any of them and thought making only one person’s family spend all the money to get there was unfair (we live between coasts with family on opposite coasts). I myself have traveled just as far for weddings and when I lived closer, have driven about 3 hours for a friend’s wedding but had to stay overnight. You might have a smaller guest list than you are hoping for, but 2.5 hours really isn’t that bad. You might offer to cover rooms for some of your VIPs if you are afraid they won’t make it otherwise or just to offset some of their costs.
Post # 11
yes unfortunately I come from a very long line of single moms who got pregnant as teenagers :/ it’s crazy right? The only wedding I’ve been to is my fiancé’s brother’s wedding 2 years ago
Post # 12
I drove 6 hours round trip for my friends wedding a few years ago, and we drove it all in one day. But i love my friend and wanted to be there for her. I don’t think 2.5 hours is bad at all. I would just make sure there are a goid number of hotels around for guests to stay at.
Post # 13
- Wedding: October 2020 - New York, New York
I think 2 hours and 15 minutes away is completely reasonable! My family is spread out across the US and all of my family members will have to fly in, so the fact that it’s just a short drive is awesome. However, there’s some factors to consider. Are you having a Friday wedding or a Saturday wedding? If it’s a Saturday wedding, guests can drive in the day of, but if you’re getting married on a Friday, they would probably have to take time off work, which could be a problem for some people. Also, what time of day is your wedding? A morning wedding on a Saturday wouldn’t give your guests a lot of time to drive to the ceremony like an afternoon wedding would, and if it’s an evening wedding that runs late, there might not be enough time for everyone to drive home afterwards and they would have to stay in a hotel. I would have the wedding at the venue that’s 2 hours and 15 minutes away, but I would have the wedding at a time when people have the option of driving in for the wedding and driving home without staying in a hotel.